Saturday, December 2, 2023

Rail Fare Protest – Belper Station

On Tuesday 16th August the government are due to announce another increase in all rail ticket prices.  Currently Brits pay rail fares up to 10 times higher than other EU countries and services on local lines like ours are often late, overcrowded and under-staffed. Reduction in staff due to cutbacks has resulted in frequent understaffing on some routes, with passengers being unable to obtain tickets when there are problems with machines and the loan of Matlock to Derby carriages to another line has resulted in overcrowding on many trains travelling south.  Passengers and taxpayers are now going to being made to pay an even higher price for the failures of rail privatisation.

Higher prices for weaker services.

Action for Rail is organising a protest on 16th August calling for Renationalisation of the railways, affordable fares, and for Govia to be stripped of the Southern Rail franchise. This is being supported by the Peoples Assembly, Momentum, Derby Climate Coalition and Derby Unite Community branch, as well as the Rail unions.

Momentum Derbyshire says “Public ownership of rail could deliver cheaper fares. If the lines up for renewal this parliament were taken back into public ownership, that could save around £1.5bn  – which could fund a 10 per cent cut in season tickets and other regulated fares from 2017. A third (£520m) of this £1.5bn saving would come from recouping the money private train companies pay in dividends to their shareholders.”

The new fare prices will come into force in January 2017 and are claimed to be based on inflation, despite the value of the pound dropping to an all time low following Brexit and its economic fallout as well as interest rates dropping to near zero.

Action for Rail are asking supporters to help distribute cards at:

Local Station on 16 August

Belper Station  – 07:45 – 08:15
Derby Station– 16:30 – 18:00

and to write to to your MPs:

via Stop the Rail Rip-Off

You can also use the hashtag #RAILRIPOFF on social media.

Clare Washbrook

Current Editor-in-Chief News and magazine editor since 1995 Post-grads: Literature; Theatre; Journalism, Ethics & Law Community Affiliations: Belper Goes Green, Belper's WW1 Poppies, Amber Valley Solidarity No political party memberships/affiliations.

3 thoughts on “Rail Fare Protest – Belper Station

  • Rail User

    Protest for protest sake – what the Go-Via franchise in the south has got to do with Matlock to Derby and Nottingham trains defeats me. This is a protest that has its roots in the South East and will and doe not strike any chord here.

    1) Tell me how many trains have been loaned to other routes? You can’t because it hasn’t happened. More to the point EMT have actually received trains from Northern in order to extend the Matlock – Nottingham service to Newark.

    2) Tickets – a new machine has been in stalled on the northbound side within the last few months. If the machine is not working, buy a ticket on the train. Simple.

    3) Overcrowding – out of 22 trains each day, one train each way a day suffers from overcrowding and then only to extent about 10 passengers have to stand for 12 minutes between Belper and Derby.

    4) Fares are very good value in this area £4.50 for an off-peak return to Derby with commensurate savings for those who by weekly and monthly seasons.. Cheaper than the bus so why not have a protest against your local bus company.

    I don’t have any association with EMT or the rail industry and have no axe to grind but I won’t stand by and see our local services criticised when this is all about a southern pressure group who want political change.

  • Hello Rail User,
    I’m also a rail user.

    1) I don’t have numbers but I’ll follow up and find out how many carriages have been loaned to another line. This information did in fact come from East Midlands trains, when I had a conversation with them two weeks ago due to yet another personal journey on an extremely overcrowded train. I wouldn’t make up information and then publish it.
    2) the Southbound ticket machine frequently fails and there are increasingly no staff on the trains to buy tickets from. I have personally had three journeys this month that ended with me at the barrier explaining why I don’t have a ticket.
    3) I haven’t travelled on all the trains to and from Belper during each day. Where did you get these statistics from?
    4) That’s a matter of perspective. Yes the buses are extortionate but you can travel 200 miles on a European train for less than a tenner.

    The protesters were local, from a local group as part of a nationwide day of action. It is the job of a free press to criticise and hold to account all powers. It is also the job of a free press to offer more than one side to a story, so if you feel that our local services are completely beyond criticism, you are welcome to submit an opinion piece.

  • Nathanael Deupree

    Great post. I am facing a couple of these problems.

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